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Genetics Linked to Carpal Tunnel

It has long been thought that repetitive use of your hands was the main culprit of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. However, a recent study shows genetics is a key predictor.

Study results were presented at this year’s American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting in San Diego. The study compared evidence for biological and occupational causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Biological factors such as genetics, age, and race were greater predictors than those of occupational factors such as repetitive hand use.

However, don’t ignore the potential harm of repetitive use. For those who may be predisposed to carpal tunnel, external factors such as repetitive hand use can cause the symptoms to manifest.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed for long periods of time. This compression can cause permanent nerve damage if left untreated. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is five times more common in women than in men and most often strikes those between the ages of 30 and 60.

What to look for? Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome experience numbness in the hands and eventually develop weakness and atrophy of some of the small hand muscles that control the thumb. Should these symptoms appear, make an appointment with a physician at Southern Orthopaedic Specialists at (770) 953-6929.

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